Today’s news:

Race for Gioia seat intensifies

The race for City Councilman Eric Gioia’s (D−Sunnyside) seat got a little more heated last week as the Queens County Democratic Party named its candidate, followed closely by the Queens Republicans and the influential Working Families Party.

On May 26, Deirdre Feerick, an attorney with the Council, won the backing from the Queens Democrats for the 26th Council District seat, which covers Long Island City, Maspeth, Sunnyside and Woodside. Gioia is running for public advocate.

The same day, the Queens GOP introduced 24−year−old Angelo Maragos, a business analyst for “a major financial institution,” as its pick for the seat.

The union−supported Working Families Party, which also often backs Democrats, supported Queens Library Community and Governmental Affairs Director Jimmy Van Bramer along with a host of other candidates last Thursday.

“We believe that these candidates will put the working families of the city first, ahead of big−money interests or their own political gain,” Working Families Party Director Dan Cantor said of the nearly 100 candidates it backed in a news release.

Maragos had not filed any records with the city Campaign Finance Board by the most recent deadline, May 15, but the Queens GOP touted his fund−raising skills at his alma mater, the Cooper Union. He enters the field in a Council district where the Democratic incumbent carried 83 percent of the 15,578 votes counted in 2005.

The fund−raising race among the three Democratic frontrunners remained close by the May 15 filing milestone, according to Campaign Finance Board records. Feerick led with $57,150, while Van Bramer had brought in $45,239. Long Island City attorney Brent O’Leary was third with $35,522. Woodside translator David Rosasco trailed in fourth with $5,589.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e−mail at jewalsh@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 154.

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